Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How to install board and batten

First of all, the winner of the Donahue Wellness Shaklee giveaway is Clara at BookGirl! Congrats Clara -- email me and I’ll get you in touch with Bonnie!

OK, onto the board and batten toot. Well, the faux kind of B and B -- the real kind involves boards on the wall (I think so anyway – hence the “board”) and the strips on top. I really have no idea. I’m guessing. :)

When the Bub’s big boy room fell into place in my noggin a couple months ago, I knew from the start I wanted to use board and batten along the bottom, under the chair rail.

Before the room design came to me, I kept trying of ways to use the apple green stripes in his room – maybe repaint them in new colors, make them thicker, make them thinner…and I finally realized I wasn’t getting anywhere with the room because I was trying to work with them. When I let go and decided to do something completely different, I was able to really get creative with the space and move forward. That’s when his new room took shape in my head and I was OK with the apple green stripes being gone.

Well, today they disappeared for good and I did not cry. I did have a lot of flashbacks to painting them years ago with a sweet Bubby in my belly.  ;)

So the board and batten was in my head and I have to tell you, this is by FAR the easiest way to add character to a space with woodwork. Not even one mitered cut in the whole room – now that is what I’m talkin’ about! I mean, I love my wainscoting, but geez Louise, it was nice to not have to match up corners for once. ;)

The material I used for the “board” was simple lattice wood from Lowe’s – it’s really thin and cheap – a 10 foot piece was about $6. The best part – it’s SO easy to cut! I just used my yellow miter box and hand saw to cut everything for this project.

The first step is to determine how far apart you want your lattice. I thought 12 inches looked too close together, and 18 was too far apart, so I settled on 14 inches. Just pick what looks right for your space:

Whenever I install molding with a uniform space between – I always cut a piece of wood or a yard stick to the length I need. I just hold it up over and over so I don’t have to measure every single time.

Because I already had the chair rail up in the room, and didn’t want to take it down, I started by measuring 14 inches from the door frame and measuring the length from the bottom of the chair rail to the top of the baseboards.

I had to do this because the chair rail in this space is the foamy/flexible kind I like to use – and the one bad thing about this stuff is it can be hard to get it exactly straight and level down the wall. You would never notice it, but the length of between the chair rail and baseboards varied by up to a quarter inch in some places.

**Tip #1: If you are starting from scratch with board and batten, just decide on the height of your boards, and cut them all to that length. Install, then install the chair rail or header board over the top. MUCH easier and quicker!

I would mark where the 14 inches fell on the wall, then cut my wood to the right length and nail it in, using a level to make sure it was straight up and down. Then I just continued around the room using the 14 inches:

Basically, it’s a simple as nailing in a lattice piece, holding up your yard stick and installing the next piece with a level.

SO insanely easy, I can’t even tell you. All the cuts are straight cuts. Like I said, if you start without a chair rail, all your cuts will be the same. So you could knock out all of your lattice in no time at all.

True board and batten usually has a flat board across the top, like Karla’s:

Isn’t that gorg?

I really didn’t want to take down all the chair rail we had up and replace it because I had already paid for it, installed it and painted it…so it stayed. :)

Aaaaaand…I LOVE IT.

I painted it all out in a semi gloss white paint. I usually use high gloss for projects like this, but I had a brilliant idea to use the Behr primer and paint in one, thinking it would cover the stripes better.

Well, it didn’t. I would have been just fine to go ahead with a coat of primer (that I already had) and two coats of glossy white (that I already had). But I loved this paint for the blue on the walls, so I’m still a believer in it!

The installation of this loverly stuff took just a couple hours. The painting of it? Ummmmm…FOREVER.

Tip #2: If you have any ounce of patience at all and are going to listen to me at all – paint the wood and the walls before you install. You will save yourself SO much time. I am typing with a claw instead of a hand right now because I didn’t do this.

If you install then paint, you have to get into the sides of all the lattice with your brush, which is so, so, so not fun. Do as I say, not as I do, hmmm?

Again, if you are starting with a blank wall, paint everything first, measure your lattice and install it. Then finish it all off by installing the chair rail or “header.”

I was shocked and pleasantly surprised at how easy this was to install! The total cost of wood for the WHOLE room? Less than $40. Yeppers. Forty buckaroos.

Even though it took a gazillion hours to paint it, it is SO worth it:

board and batten

Excuse me while I pass out because I. love. it.

The lattice is thin, but it does stick out from the bottom of the chair rail just a teensy bit…which would not be an issue if you did a rail like Karla’s at the top. But really, it’s so minor, it’s really not a big deal.

It looks just like it did in my head…I love when that happens!:board and batten

This was a biggie in getting the room close to done – now I’m onto the fun stuff! Accessorizing, a bit more art, and I’ll be done. I was hoping to finish this week, but I have a feeling it will be next week. Either way, I can’t wait to show you!

Have you tried board and batten? The real kind or the faux kind? My friend AnNicole did it in her kitchen years ago and it’s lovely. Jen just did it recently and it looks fantastic! (If you did it, link to it in your comment!)

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